HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkats will enter another season as a nationally-ranked team in 2019 after STATS FCS released its preseason poll on Monday with the Kats checking in at No. 23 in the country.
Sam Houston has been ranked in each of the last eight preseason polls unveiled by STATS FCS, last starting a season unranked in 2011.
They are one of just two Southland Conference teams to be in the rankings with preseason favorite Nicholls checking in at No. 12. Defending national champion North Dakota State received 142 first-place votes in claiming the top FCS ranking, while James Madison, South Dakota State, Eastern Washington and UC Davis rounded out the top five.
The Kats went 6-5 a year ago, missing out on the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2010; however, they return 41 lettermen from that team, including preseason all-Americans Nathan Stewart and Zyon McCollum.
SHSU is one of just three teams in all of FCS to have posted a winning season in each of the past nine years entering 2019.
They are currently in the midst of fall camp with 23 practices scheduled in leading up to the August 31 opener at New Mexico. The first scheduled scrimmage is set for August 10.